Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
Percy Jackson fans can rest easy: this first book in Riordan's Heroes of Olympus spin-off series is a fast-paced adventure with enough familiar elements to immediately hook those eager to revisit his modern world of mythological mayhem. Clever plot devices-like gods who shift back and forth between their Greek and Roman personae-keep the book from feeling like a retread of Riordan's previous novels. Jason, Piper, and Leo, three students at a wilderness school for troubled teens, are transported to Camp Half-Blood after an unexpected encounter with evil storm spirits on the rim of the Grand Canyon. Not only do they discover that they are the offspring of ancient gods, but they also learn that they are three of seven demigods mentioned in the Great Prophecy uttered by Rachel in The Last Olympian. Wasting little time acclimating to their new lives, the three embark upon a quest to preserve Mt. Olympus and the divine status quo, by rescuing an erstwhile enemy. Rotating among his three protagonists, Riordan's storytelling is as polished as ever, brimming with wit, action, and heart-his devotees won't be disappointed. Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal Review
Gr 4-7-Rick Riordan does it again with the first title (Hyperion, 2010) in a new series, introducing a young demigod named Jason who finds himself on a bus with no memory of who he is or how he got there. He soon discovers that all of his fellow travelers are juvenile offenders who have been sent to a wilderness boarding school for society's protection and their own re-education. Piper, a strange quiet girl, and Leo, a wise-cracking goof-off, both claim to be his friends, and the three embark on a journey that takes them across the United States, meeting Cyclopes in Detroit, Medea in Chicago, and Midas in Omaha. The final battle takes place at the Wolves Den, former home of Jack London, in Sonoma, California. Percy Jackson and Annabeth are mentioned at times, and at the book's conclusion we know that both will play important roles in the sequels. This tale belongs to Jason, Piper, and Leo, all of whom have suffered terrible losses and have their own insecurities. Each character is distinct in his/her pain and growing self-awareness. Narrator Joshua Swanson makes that clear with his variety of voices, along with conveying the hate of Hera, the greed of Midas, and the wickedness of Medea. Totally engaging.-Edie Ching, University of Maryland, College Park (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Readers longing for a return to Camp Half-Blood will get their wish in the first novel of the Heroes of Olympus series, which follows Riordan's popular Percy Jackson and the Olympians series and includes some of the same characters in minor roles. The new cast features Jason, Piper, and Leo, teen demigods who are just coming to understand and use their unique abilities as they learn how much depends upon their wits, courage, and fast-developing friendship. Setting up the books to come, the backstory of a master plan to unseat the gods is complex but is doled out in manageable bits with a general air of foreboding. Meanwhile, the action scenes come frequently as the three heroic teens fight monstrous enemies in North American locales, including the Grand Canyon, Quebec City, Detroit, Chicago, Omaha, Pikes Peak, and Sonoma Valley. Flashes of humor lighten the mood at times, but a tone of urgency and imminent danger seems as integral to this series as the last. With appealing new characters within a familiar framework, this spin-off will satisfy the demand for more.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2010 Booklist
Horn Book Review
Camp Half-Blood, home to the mortal children of Greek gods (see the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books), has three new arrivals: Piper, a daughter of Aphrodite, good at persuasion; Leo, a son of Hephaestus, good at fixing things; and Jason, a son of Zeus, who is suffering from amnesia. With the Titan war over, a new threat has emerged: a prophesied clash with Gaea's youngest children, the giants, who are returning to overthrow the Olympians. Riding a bronze dragon rehabilitated by Leo, the three demigods go on a quest to free Hera from one such giant; another giant secretly holds Piper's father hostage in order to force her to betray her new friends. Jason's missing memories point to another mystery: why does Jason speak Latin rather than Greek like the other demigods? Why are the initials SPQR tattooed on his arm? Why does he know the Roman names for mythological creatures? Riordan extends the franchise in a logical direction while maximizing the elements that made the first series so popular: irreverent heroes, plenty of tension-filled moments fighting monsters, and authentic classical mythology mixed in with modern life. Completely in control of pacing and tone, he balances a faultless comic banter against deeper notes that reveal the characters' vulnerabilities. With Percy Jackson slated to make an appearance in later volumes, fans nostalgic for the old books should find in this new series everything they've been pining for. ANITA L. BURKAM (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.